73 percent Covid-19 deaths of ppl who had pre-existing health conditions: Dr Zafar Mirza

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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Thursday said that 73 per cent of Covid-19 deaths in the country were of people who had pre-existing health conditions, adding that 85pc of those who died from Covid-19 were above the age of 50 while 78pc of them were males.

Talking about low Covid-19 deaths in Pakistan he said that it does not mean people start becoming relax about preventive measures against the virus outbreak. Speaking at a news briefing in Islamabad, Mirza said: “I am seeing reports on some media programmes that Pakistan’s Covid-19 death rates are lower as compared to projections made through modelling. While it is true to some extent that Pakistan has lesser coronavirus cases and a lower death rate than projected by experts, it is not a reason for citizens to become lax.”

He said the restrictions imposed by the government on large gatherings and social contact had an effect on the infection rate, “but if people think we don’t need those preventive measures and we don’t need social distancing, it would be a very big mistake”.

Stressing the need for more prevention and responsibility, Mirza warned that the country could see a sharp rise in the number of cases and deaths if people were not careful and started going out.

He said the National Disaster and Management Authority (NDMA) after its calculations had provided PPEs, including N-95 masks, gowns and gloves to 152 hospitals for a week. These are the hospitals where most coronavirus patients would be brought, he added. “We have a list of some 400 hospitals and all of them will be provided PPEs, and on a priority basis.” The PM’s aide on health said the government would facilitate firms wishing to manufacture ventilators locally through a committee formed under the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap). Through the committee, the firms’ applications would be processed as soon as possible so that production could be started in order to overcome shortage, he revealed.

Mirza added that the government was creating a mechanism whereby personal protection equipment (PPE) would be provided to health professionals in hospitals in such a way that shortage was not observed.

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